Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fixing Opening Day

Opening weekend of the baseball season is over and I want to give Bud Selig and MLB some credit for changing the way the baseball season starts. It is an improvement but definitely not perfect. I like the fact there is no "Opening Night" game. It works for the NFL but not for baseball. I also like the idea of starting the season with a weekend series but as usual MLB still doesn't get things totally right. Here are my issues:

Opening Day should be "Opening Day" for all teams! Start the season on Friday for all teams and have as many afternoon games as possible. There is no reason not to do it this way. MLB's explanation centers around having a built in off day as a possible make up day in case bad weather forces a cancellation.There is a real easy way to fix this.

I am not the smartest guy in the world but isn't there enough MLB teams that play home games in cities and/or ballparks where weather won't be a factor in April? Marlins, Rays, Rangers, Astros, Blue Jays, Braves, Dodgers, Giants, Angels, Diamondbacks, Padres are the obvious ones and then the next batch of teams that have a pretty good chance at decent weather are the Orioles, Nationals, Cardinals and Royals. That is 15 teams. Is it that hard to make sure all those teams are home for maybe the first week of the baseball season. Can someone explain to me why the Rockies and Diamondbacks were playing this past weekend in Colorado? I don't think it snows inside of Chase Field. Baseball is the greatest sport in the world. It is so great that it survives despite how poorly it is run by MLB.

The other option which will fix all of this is to go back to a 154 game schedule. Start the season around April 15th and schedule Sunday doubleheaders on every Sunday beginning the first Sunday in June through the first Sunday of August. Make these games free for all kids under the age of 16. It will be a short term money loss for MLB but a long term gain. MLB doesn't think this way though but that is an entirely different topic. Back to the schedule, 154 games, April 15th, Sunday doubleheaders and eliminate all off days in a postseason series. The postseason should be more like the regular season. You get one off day a week during the season, it should be the same in the playoffs. I would agree to an off day before any Game 7 of a series. This will give the teams their one off day of the week and also build up some anticipation for the ultimate game. This schedule will eliminate regular season games in late March and early April along with playoff baseball no longer taking place in late October and November. It also just might bring in younger fans. After all, baseball is going to need them in the future.

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